The most common and successful surgical weight loss procedure is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. During surgery, a small stomach pouch is created to restrict food intake. Afterward, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is re-routed and attached to the new pouch. This allows food to bypass the lower stomach and the upper parts of the small intestine, reducing the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. The small stomach pouch created during surgery can hold only about two to four tablespoons (three ounces), drastically reducing the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. A gastric bypass patient will typically lose 75% of their excess body weight in the first 18 months which is maintained long-term.
The gastric bypass procedure is emerging as a powerful treatment for the management of diabetes. The surgical treatment of diabetes may be considered medically necessary even in cases in which an individual has no desire to achieve massive weight-loss.
In 99% of cases, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure can be achieved through minimally-invasive laparoscopic methods. Dr. Robert T. Marema, M.D., F.A.C.S., was a pioneer in the development of laparoscopic techniques in bariatric surgery.
As with any laparoscopic procedure, the recovery time, patient discomfort and risks are reduced when compared to open surgery. However, not all patients are candidates for laparoscopic procedures. Gastric bypass surgery carries the same risks as any other major abdominal surgery.
Shortly after surgery patients are back in their hospital room. Sitting up in a chair or walking around is encouraged. Patients are usually discharged approx. 2 days post surgery. Gradually, physical activity will increase, with near-normal or normal activity resuming a few weeks after surgery.